Bok coach sends warning to players
SPOTLIGHT: A warning has been sent to Springbok players ahead of their November tour opener against Wales on November 6.
The world champions are currently in Paris for a one-week training camp before they head to the United Kingdom.
The squad currently consists of players based in South Africa and Japan with some of their European-based players only joining the squad on October 31.
For Bok coach Jacques Nienaber this tour will be about building consistency and that means there will be very few surprises when it comes to selections.
However, he did have a warning for players who might take things easy with the year winding down.
“From a squad point of view, except for the injuries that we have, we are probably building consistency,” Nienaber told reporters during an online media conference on Sunday.
“Since the World Cup we have only played 10 Test matches because we lost out in 2020 due to Covid, so the key thing for us is to build consistency again. Consistency in our group, consistency in our performances and consistency in our preparation.
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“I don’t think there will be a lot of surprises in terms of team selection and in terms of what we put out.
“In saying that, nobody is irreplaceable in our squad. There is so much good competition.
“We played the British and Irish Lions series without Duane Vermeulen and we played the final game without Faf de Klerk. We played the whole rugby Championship without Cheslin Kolbe and we played the last Test match against New Zealand without Frans Malherbe.
“From that perspective, we must know as a group that nobody is irreplaceable, and we must also know that you have to perform.”
‘Stake their claim’
He added: “The players that are currently playing for their clubs, know they must play well to stake their claim for selection, and the players who are now with us in this group must train well to stake their claim for selection.
“But knowing this group and how we select this group, the players are hard workers and they don’t take anything for granted.
“There is so much competition in this group that if you slack off, somebody is there to take your spot.”
After their tour opener against Wales, the Boks will move on to Edinburgh to face Scotland on November 13.
They will finish their tour with a match against England at Twickenham on November 20.